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Summary: As representatives of Christ, we must a) Stand Firm b) Stand in Faith and c) Stand with Pride. Just as Christ suffered, we must realize the privilege of suffering on His behalf!

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INTRODUCTION

A. Book of Philippians

1. Paul in Chains – realized that his chains were for the ‘defense of the gospel’

B. Introduction Thus Far

1. Paul’s testimony was causing others to “Preach”

a. Good Motives out of “Love”

b. Poor Motives out of “Insincerity, Selfish Ambition, Trouble”

2. Paul reminded us that we must “Choose Our Master”

a. 1.21 ‘to live is Christ’…

3. As Christians, we are to Produce Fruit for the growth and joy of other’s Faith!

a. 22) – His Testimony mean “Fruit of Labor”

b. 24) – Fruit of Labor for “your progress & joy in the faith”

c. 25) – So your “joy in Christ will overflow”

d. 25) - on “account of me!”

C. Today we see that the church was also experiencing persecution from Paul’s chains and are Reminded…

1. Ministry is NOT EASY

2. Differences from personalities, styles, preferences, etc.

3. Leadership has its cost!

ILLUSTRATION: Children’s Ministry

a. Renovations to Prepare for Our Children & Those to Come!

b. Already – Decorations (Everyone has a way – none are wrong!)

c. Parents – Differences in programs, children, raising etc.

d. Can be as a “chain”

3 CALLS TO “STAND” AS CHRIST!

1. Stand FIRM [Vs. 27]

2. Stand as FAITH [Vs. 27-28]

3. Stand with PRIDE – You Represent Christ [Vs. 29-30]

D. READ Philippians 1:27-30

I. STAND FIRM [Vs. 27a]

A. ‘conduct’ yourselves’

1. GRK = Actually 2 words ‘conduct (imp. Your) citizenship’

Mean: ‘to behave properly as a “citizen”’

a. Philippi - a Roman colony - culture - extremely proud of heritage

1. “Roman Citizenship” – Paul commends that.

2. Our pride - an American Citizen!)

b. But also ‘citizens of another kingdom’ – heaven!

- remainder of the phrase “worthy of the gospel”

- He later writes in PHIL 3:20

2. Main Thought = one’s “conversation”

a. While literal meaning is a lifestyle, that’s not the thought!

- the actual suffering was that of ‘conversation’.

b. The suffering not of physical type but of - tongue

c. READ 1.17

d. Paul is saying – YOU BE DIFFERENT!

e. READ EPH 4.22-24

We are not to BEHAVE AS OTHERS DO!

B. “Then I WILL KNOW”

27b) “I will KNOW” – that you –‘STAND FIRM’

1. “stand firm” in one Spirit

a. READ 1 Cor 16.13

2. “contending as one man”

a. ‘contending’ = “Striving” – Describes an “ongoing process”

b. ‘one man’ = “Side by Side” –

ILLUSTRATION: “Lord We Praise You Now” – ‘though as many, now we come to worship You as one!’

APPLICATION:

1. Stand FIRM IN ONE SPIRIT (God is in control)

2. SIDE BY SIDE (in full armor!)

3. God has a PLAN, PURPOSE, and HAS PROMISED!

II. STAND IN FAITH [Vs. 28]

Paul has reminded them to STAND FIRM & AS ONE and he now shows that to make this stand, one must STAND BASED ON ‘FAITH’.

READ 27b ‘stand firm’, – now READ 28

A. ‘stand (28)’ “without being frightened”

1. Who is GOD TO YOU?

I think Paul is reminding the church who is in control!

2. READ PHIL 4.19 - Question is “DO YOU BELIEVE IT?”

SUMMARY: Who Is In Control – Your CHAIN OR GOD?

Who are we giving the attention to when we allow our worries, struggles, or persecutions to control our thoughts & actions! HOW BIG ISYOUR GOD?

ILLUSTRATION: BLACK BART– Western Movie surrounding BLACK BART

(listen to this excert) - HE was a Western OUTLAW in the late 1800s. His name stirred fear as He terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line for thirteen years, roaring like a tornado in and out of the Sierra Nevadas, spooking the most rugged frontiersmen. He would rob the stage line, wearing a hooded mask, pointing a gun, and leaving a poem.

During his reign of terror between 1875 and 1883, he is credited with stealing the bags and the breath away from twenty-nine different stagecoach crews. And he did it all without firing a shot. No victim ever saw him & no artist ever sketched his features. No sheriff could ever track his trail. He never fired a shot or took a hostage.

What finally gave him away was a mistake of leaving his handkerchief at one of the robberies and it was traced back to a laundry service in San Francisco. When the hood came off, there was actually nothing to fear. They didn’t find a bloodthirsty bandit from Death Valley, they found a mild-mannered mining engineer from Decatur, Illinois.

The man the papers pictured storming through the mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses he rode to and from his robberies in a buggy. He was Charles E. Boles—the bandit who never once fired a shot, because he never once loaded his gun.

BLACK BART was not dangerous at all. All they had to do was put their finger in his gun and tell him to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! Maybe we out to STAND FIRM AND IN FAITH (knowing God is in control) tell SATAN to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

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